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Saturday March 20, 1976
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This Day In 1970's History: Saturday March 20, 1976
  • Patricia Hearst was convicted by a jury of seven women and five men in San Francisco's Federal District Court of armed robbery and of use of a gun to commit a felony. Miss Hearst had testified that she had helped a revolutionary group rob the Sunset Branch of the Hibernia Bank there on April 15, 1974. But she said she had done so only under the threat of death. Miss Hearst seemed to shrink and her face became ashen as the verdict was read. Her parents and three of her four sisters were in the courtroom. [New York Times]
  • North Carolina's primary on Tuesday may determine whether Ronald Reagan and Gov. George Wallace of Alabama will stay in the presidential race. Each has lost three times in other state primaries. Public opinion polls indicate that Mr. Reagan is likely to lose to President Ford and Mr. Wallace to Jimmy Carter. If the polls are confirmed by the voting, senior advisers to Mr. Reagan and Mr. Wallace say they will have to re-study their campaigns. Large blocs of delegations -- 61 to the Democratic convention and 54 to the Republican -- are also at stake. [New York Times]
  • Skirmishing for position in this year's congressional races is well underway across the country. Party leaders regard the election as the most important in years. For Republicans, it is a chance to regain the House seats lost in their 1974 defeat and to give their party once again a strong minority in the House. It is also an opportunity to win the seats of four popular Democratic Senators who are retiring and to take advantage of what Republicans believe is an anti-Washington, anti-incumbent mood in the country to defeat several of the 18 Democratic Senators running for re-election. [New York Times]
  • Rubin (Hurricane) Carter and John Artis exchanged prison numbers for freedom. Following a 15-minute hearing in Passaic County Court, their status instantly changed from murder convicts to suspects. Both are now presumed innocent pending a new trial on triple murder charges. Mr. Carter, a former middleweight boxer, and Mr. Artis had each served nine years of life sentences. Their convictions were overturned last Wednesday by the New Jersey Supreme Court. A second trial has been granted and may be held this spring or next fall. [New York Times]
  • Law enforcement officials said that for the first time since 1957, New York's five Mafia families had been authorized by the national Mafia commission to initiate new members. They said that each family had been given permission to initiate 10 new members made up of men who were money-makers in the rackets, had no legal problems and were of proved loyalty. The initiation of new members was stopped in 1957 to prevent gangsters who were secretly informants for law enforcement agencies from gaining entry into Mafia families. A Justice Department official said that initiation ceremonies had been held in New York for the last month. [New York Times]
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